Sept 3, 2018, Radio New Zealand: 'Jaw-dropping' delays for special education https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018660918/jaw-dropping-delays-for-special-education Delays in specialist support for children with disabilities under five in the Wellington region are "ridiculous", parents and teachers say. They said pre-schoolers with special needs were waiting six or eight months for help, and many were nearly ready for school by the time they received the assistance they needed. Ministry of Education figures showed the average waiting time for early intervention support in Wellington in 2017-18 was 196 days, more than double the national average of 99 days and up from 131 days in 2016-17. Yahna Gray said her three-year-old son, Kayden, needed specialist help for delayed social and verbal skills, but she had been told he would not get any assistance for about eight months. … Ms Scahill said she told parents they would have to wait six or eight months for help, but sometimes it was even longer. A referral for a child submitted eighteen months ago was only now receiving services - just six months before she was to start school, she said. Ministry of Education national director of learning support David Wales said a combination of factors caused Wellington's long waiting times. … Mr Wales said waiting times in all regions would fall because the government's Budget in May included $21.5 million over the next four years specifically for the early intervention service.
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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